The overall goal of the study is to help to link future transport funding and evaluation closer to sustainability criteria and indicators – with a regional focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and the intention to discuss the transferability of the approach to other developing regions after accomplishment of the study. The expected results include the documentation of current financing actors, financing practice and transport project evaluation.
The overall goal is founded on the current problems and challenges in the African transport sector and is based on the perception that there is still a loose link of donor policies to sustainability criteria and a one-sided focus of current funding practice on infrastructure.
It should become obvious that sustainability in transport does not only imply transport infrastructure but can be embedded in a larger policy approach that includes investments in public and non-motorised transport, institutional development and road safety. As these areas were marginalised in funding for a long time they now require significant budget allocations to capitalise its full potential in achieving sustainable transport patterns in passenger and freight transport in developing countries, especially in Africa.
Because most African countries face severe financial limitations, budgetary considerations should become the starting point of planning. Available funds – both grants and credit – must be assessed carefully and then spent effectively and rationally. The tendency of policy makers to invest in expensive prestige projects must be converted into a sustainability-oriented prioritization of transport projects.
We are aware that this will not be easy because there is no global consensus on what sustainable transport is and which indicators and methods of measuring sustainability are agreeable for donor and partner countries.
It is a positive indication that most of the numerous funding bodies already agree that sustainable transport generally means to ensure access to work, education, goods and services, friends and family without compromising the social and ecological environment, including the protection of the planet’s climate.